Holy Week Invitation from the Smith Family

Many years ago, our son was invited to participate in the Easter Triduum by having the honor of being an altar server at all three of these services. We remember at the time thinking and maybe even saying to each other “you’ve got to be kidding me, most of our kids go to bed long before these services even start, how can we possibly do this!” Our initial reaction to three late nights in a row with little children in a church pew felt like more than any parent should have to handle. At the time we didn’t fully grasp the significance of the Triduum. The funny thing is that after we reluctantly agreed to what we thought was going to be an enormous sacrifice, it turned into a cherished experience. Embracing these three holy days with our church family, we found ourselves deeply moved and connected in ways we hadn’t anticipated.

The reverence, awe, and connection that you and your children will experience during these services, is not something that’s easy to describe or simply captured in a catechism lesson. The final three days of Jesus’ earthly journey, familiar through Bible stories, come to life! The beautiful history of our salvation begins to unfold in a real way, making sense of church traditions you may be accustomed to seeing but not understanding. Seeing Jesus’ message being applied on Holy Thursday by witnessing groups of families or service ministry volunteers model service to each other by humbly washing each other’s feet, inspires one to want to live more like Christ and for Him.

This experience becomes deeply personal, as indeed it should, for it connects us to our own history and emphasizes that Christ’s sacrifice was made for each of us individually, in addition to humanity as a whole. This personal connection is symbolized as each parishioner drops nails, representing our individual burdens, at the foot of the cross. On Good Friday, we lay these burdens before Christ, acknowledging that it is solely through God’s grace and the sacrifice of His Son that we are saved. This act allows us to comprehend, even if only slightly, the vastness of God’s boundless mercy.

Entering the dimly lit Church on Holy Saturday becomes the highlight of the year for our children! As the Church is gradually overcome by light with the collective candles of every parishioner slowly being lit through the passing of flames from one individual to the next, an inescapable parallel is drawn, symbolizing the light of Christ being the only way of overcoming the darkness in our own lives, emphasizing our own responsibility to extend that light to those around us. The beauty of this shared experience not only illuminates the Church but also enlightens our hearts, reminding us of our collective role in spreading hope and compassion.

Four years ago, after experiencing our first Holy Triduum as a family, we came to understand that some sacrifices are truly worthwhile—tired children and all! It is with this realization that we extend a heartfelt invitation and encouragement to join us in Seeking the Sacred this year. By participating in these three holy days together, we embrace the profound opportunity to deepen our faith and connection within our spiritual community.

With Love,

The Smith Family

 

To view the Schedule of Liturgies for Holy Week, visit the parish homepage.